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Montréal: the optimal host city set to welcome the world’s largest mathematical optimization conference

April 19, 2021 - Source : NEWS

The auspicious honour of organizing the 25th edition of the world’s largest international mathematical optimization conference has just been granted to a committee chaired by a member of the Group for Research in Decision Analysis – GERAD, and Polytechnique Montréal. The International Symposium on Mathematical Programming (ISMP 2024) will be held in Montréal in the summer of 2024.

Représentation du concept des mathématiques.
Mathematical optimization is the process behind the creation of algorithms that are the basis for applications in machine learning, transportation, logistics, finance, and engineering, to name just a few areas. (Photo: Adobe Stock).

Every edition of this, the Mathematical Optimization Society (MOS)’s flagship conference, attracts some 2,000 specialists from the discipline – an academic field where algorithms are created, that then go on to become key functional aspects of a variety of applications in machine learning, transportation, logistics, finance, and engineering, among many other areas.

Held every three years, the event is host to some 1,500 presentations, as well as an impressive 35 concurrent sessions given by researchers, academics, and students alike.

“It’s really the most prestigious optimization conference in the world. It attracts the best of the best in our field,” enthuses Full professor Charles Audet, from Polytechnique Montréal’s Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering, and chair of the conference’s local organizing committee.

Montréal will thus succeed Beijing, Bordeaux, Pittsburgh, and Berlin as ISMP host city, in addition to being only the third city ever to be awarded the organization of this event for a second time. The previous Montréal ISMP conference welcomed delegates for the 10th edition of the event in 1979.

The Montréal organizing committee is composed primarily of professors from Polytechnique Montréal, and also includes representatives from Université de Montréal, HEC Montréal, McGill University and Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Among other elements, the committee will oversee complex logistical issues related to organizing a conference of this scale and importance, and will also form a scientific committee to determine the conference’s main themes.

Major recognition for Montreal

Polytechnique’s Full Professor Sébastien Le Digabel, also from the Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering, is a member of the ISMP 2024 organizing committee, notes that earning the opportunity to host the event is also an acknowledgement of GERAD’s contributions. Both Le Digabel and Audet are members of GERAD. “The event is only held in cities where optimization is an important field of research,” Professor Le Digabel explains, highlighting GERAD's importance to the field.

Charles Audet et Sébastien Le Digabel, professeurs titulaires au Département de mathématiques et de génie industriel.
Full Professors Charles Audet and Sébastien Le Digabel, both from the Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering.

Le Digabel points out that, along with the Interuniversity Research Centre on Enterprise Networks, Logistics and Transportation – CIRRELT, and the Institute for Data Valorization - IVADO, GERAD is one of the cornerstone organizations for mathematical optimization research not only in Québec, but internationally. “It's not something that’s well known throughout the general public, but Montréal has perhaps the largest community of researchers in the field,” Professor Le Digabel adds.

Over the years, GERAD’s researchers have contributed to a number of mathematical optimization applications, ranging from optimizing bus routes, to creating “smart” road and mining infrastructures, to fine-tuning water flow from large Hydro-Québec reservoirs in order to reach optimal electricity production. More recently, Professors Andrea Lodi and Guy Desaulniers (Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering; members of GERAD, and members of the conference organizing committee), have developed a decision-making support tool to improve the distribution of COVID-19 tests across Canada.

Learn more

Professor Charles Audet’s expertise
Professor Sébastien Le Digabel’s expertise
Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering website
Group for Research in Decision Analysis - GERAD website
Mathematical Optimization Society (MOS) website

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